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Public Health

When people consider the term "public health" they often envision public awareness campaigns promoting healthy lifestyle or state-sponsored community medical clinics, but the field of public health is not so narrow as some may imagine Public health professionals are involved in many facets of the healthcare industry. They identify communicable diseases to assist in the creation of public policy, educate communities about disease prevention, help refugees find housing and integrate into communities, develop disaster preparedness plans, and conduct research used to promote public health and awareness.

One of the key differences between public health professionals and other healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses, and technicians, is that pubic health professionals work to prevent disease, rather than treat it. There are many specializations within the field of public health. Some of these include environmental health, health administration, epidemiology, nutrition, occupational health, minority health and health disparities, global health, health education, maternal and child, social and behavioral science, community outreach, global health, and biostatistics and informatics. Public health is truly offers a diverse array of opportunity and many career paths to choose from.

Public health professionals often work with and through public agencies at the local, state and federal levels, such as health departments. They also work in tandem with other public and healthcare organizations, including medical providers, community outreach programs, schools, and religious organizations.

In cooperation with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other public organizations, public health professionals strive to:
  • Investigate, identify, diagnose and solve health problems within the community.
  • Educate people within diverse communities about health issues.
  • Mobilize communities to take action against potential and actual health problems.
  • Create policies and implement plans to support community health initiatives.
  • Protect public health and safety by enforcing regulations and laws.
  • Help people in need find adequate healthcare and medical services.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness and ensure the availability of health services for communities.
  • Conduct research leading to solutions that address public health concerns.
Careers in public health are not limited to government agencies. Public health professionals work for public, non-profit, academic, and private businesses and organizations. Public health professionals are employed by government agencies, non-profit organizations, universities, healthcare facilities, drug manufacturers, and insurance companies, to name just a few. The opportunities for public health professionals are vast and growing.

Additional information about public health careers can be obtained from the following organizations.
  • Schools of Public Health Application Service
  • Association of Schools of Public Health
  • American Public Health Association
  • Public Health Works
Public Health careers:
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Psychologist
Psychologists specialize in analyzing human behavior and brain function. They study all features of human experience, including child development, cognitive function, and human relationships. Psychology offers a wide array of career opportunities.

Salary: $30,000 - $78,654

Education: 4 - 8 Years (beyond high school)

Job Outlook: Excellent

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